The 12 best Kidult gifts for 2022, from Scalextric to pinball machines | The Sun

Kidulting — it’s a real thing.

Grown-ups buying toys for themselves or other adults accounts for an impressive 24% of the entire UK toys sales, which is no small change of the total £3.4bn market.

The purveyors of play appear to have concluded that they aren’t just in the toy business but are in the market of play – and it's not just exclusive to kids.

The trend was finding some traction pre-pandemic but, with people stuck indoors, the rush to find some nostalgic fun really started to take hold.

The Danish brickmaker LEGO now has a devoted 18+ department, while Hasbro, one of the world’s leading toy companies, has an online presence called Hasbro Pulse which sells limited edition, high-end retro kit such as a Photon Blaster from the original Ghostbusters and independent companies are joining the ride, too. 

Grabbing yourself a dose of nostalgia, a bit of a nod to culture and that warm fuzzy retro feeling has never been so easy, and grown-ups have never been so spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing from an array of toys that give a nod to yesteryear.

Here’s some of the best Kidult toys we’ve uncovered for you to buy, wrap up and stick under the tree for Christmas morning.

1. Stretch Star Wars

  • Stetch Star Wars Chewbacca Action Figure, £25 from Argos – buy here

Based on the iconic Stretch Armstrong of 70’s fame, they’ve stuck the corn starch into some of the most famous figures from Star Wars.

We have Darth Vader, C3P0 and Stormtroopers for your stretching delight and, at the higher end an epic Jabba the Hutt that’ll take at least two people to take to its full stretchy potential.

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2. Star Wars Micro Range

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  • Star Wars Micro Range, from £16.22 from Amazon – buy here

You’ll find pretty much every intergalactic craft from the films in this range from Jazwares: Millenium Falcon to Squadron Starship, Tie Fighter to X-Wing, most with minifigures to enhance your on-shelf display.

Pick them up (film playing in the background of course) and re-create your favourite scenes with your own “whoosh", "swoosh" and "pow-pieow” sounds, of course.

3. Scalextric DeLorean vs K.I.T.T.

  • Scalextric DeLorean vs K.I.T.T, £160 from Argos – buy here

Working lights really bring this set to life, as doo ver five metres of track too.

Take these 80’s rides on a race with magnetron technology assisting in keeping the cars on track more of the time. Use the side swipe to try and take the other car out of the race, and use the crossover piece for added high-octane action.

Even when not in play, this is one fine set for any retro display.

4. Candylab Cars

  • Candylab Cars, £26.99 from Amazon – buy here

There's all manner of vintage wooden four-wheeled goodness to be had with this extensive range of American classic cars.

Full of detail, you can imagine yourself on Route 66, or, indeed the M6 should you wish.

From Hot Dog and Taco vans to Taxis and muscle motors there are also service stations and diners in the accessory range – The hottest wheels around.

5. Playmobil Klingon Bird-of-Prey

  • Playmobil Star Trek Klingon Ship, £258.99 from Amazon – buy here

This is a fantastic piece of kit for any Star Trek fan.

Packed with accessories, minifigures, lights and sounds ,this 80’s inspired ride is epic.

Stick it on the included stand to admire, hang it from the ceiling for added effect, or press play on your streaming device and watch the film – it is a set to impress.

6. LEGO Optimus Prime

  • LEGO Icons Optimus Prime, £123.99 from Amazon – buy here

With over 1,500 pieces, this box of bricks transforms into a 13.5-centimetre replica of the Autobot leader with 19 points of articulation for your stop-motion move making pleasure.

Are you asking if it comes with a jetpack, ion blaster, Energon axe and cube? Yes, it does, so it's time to clear some shelf space.

7. Bandai Phaser

  • Bandai Original Series Star Trek Phaser, £19.99 from Amazon – buy here

Originally set to stun and cut through metal, this was a mainstay of the arsenal for the Star Trek crew. This one, no less impressive, makes sounds and has lights too.

Stick it on display or take it on a mission around your front room/moon.

8. Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

  • Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots Knock or Block Edition, £22.99 from Amazon – buy here

The classic blue versus red robot battle has been reinvented. This time it is torso against torso; roll the dice and then it is time to try and knock the other players block off. Three times on target and you’re a winner.

Better still, this’ll make a marvellous on-shelf addition to your retro line-up of toys.

9. Rock Crawler

  • RC Remote Control Car Toy, £29.99 from Amazon – buy here

Set yourself up a few home-made ramps and an obstacle course, then unleash your inner-child and take on some grin-inducing childlike fun with this sturdy all-terrain remote-control ride.

With a decent top speed, this car can perform drifts too, so with some practice, you’ll be impressing onlookers.

10. Infinity Gaming Table

  • Arcade1Up Infinity Gaming Table, £649.99 from Game – buy here

With over 80 titles available this digital touchscreen board gaming table will certainly save you some shelf space.

From Operation and Hungry Hippos to Monopoly and Cluedo, this table is packed full of fun. For more serious players, Pandemic and Ticket to Ride are also available inside with many more titles on the way.

11. Spirograph

  • Original Spirograph Set, £23.67 from Amazon – buy here

There has been an incredible rise in the interest of adult colouring in books these past few years, so, why not create your own?

This retro machine has been around for decades and will scratch your nostalgia itch as you twirl your own image and then reach for those felt tips for the final touches.

12. Build your own Pinball machine

  • Build Your Own Pinball Machine, £20 from Argos – buy here

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An original, full-sized, flipper-flicking pinball machine will set you back a few thousand so satisfy your urge on a smaller (and cheaper) scale with this impressive make-your-own-machine.

It's fun to build, great to play, and a colourful piece to stick out on display when not in use.

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